One of the few companies outside of Asia that is currently developing full-size bipedal humanoids, Pal Technology (leader in various IT-related fields throughout the United Arab Emirates) is working in collaboration with Icarus Technology towards practical robots. The UAE is known for its lavish building projects; why not a humanoid robot? REEM-B is their second complete bipedal prototype, and research will continue until 2011 at least.
REEM-B is notable for a couple of reasons. With an operating time of 2 hours it one of the longest lasting robots of its size, and it can carry up to 12kg, making it one of the strongest humanoid robots in the world. It has improved on REEM-A with its ability to map its surroundings using laser range finders in its feet, which it can then use to navigate autonomously.
If the team at Icarus Technology wants to catch up with other life-sized humanoids, they will have to work out a number of issues. The ability to run, climb stairs, get up from a prone position, and walk on uneven terrain are the current goals, which will put the REEM-B in the same class as its competition.